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October 17, 2012 - Image 4

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4A --- Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cot

4A - Wednesday, October17, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom


1 Midtigan &Ilj
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Necessary mod1fications
Politicial debates lack substance and accuracy
f the recent presidential and vice presidential debates have
accomplished anything, they've proven that the American
public continually struggles to interpret the candidates's rhet-
oric. There have now been three debates, and the common thread is
that specific and comprehensive answers are infrequent. The candi-
dates have thus far quickly reverted to usual talking points on the
growing problems that face America, such as Medicare and the war
in Afghanistan. These political debates lack the substance that they
should be providing to the American public. Debates aren't efficient-
ly structured and their.format should be modified so candidates can
discuss a variety of important issues more in depth.

Unity from tragedy

This past week, the story of
Malala Yousafzai has dom-
inated most major news
ietworks. The

14-year-old girl
was shot by Tal-
iban militants
for raising her
voice against
their repressive
policies. She
was advocating
for the simple
right to eduac-
tion. Apparent-
ly, the Taliban


saw her as a threat - she was shot
at on her way home from school
last week. Yousafzai is currently
being treated for her wounds in
the United Kingdom.
What happened with Malala
is nothing short of a tragedy. But
maybe the only positive that comes
out of tragedies like this is an oppor-
tunity for us all to rally together, to
unify. And in this case, that is exact-
ly what has been done.
The international community has
responded with unanimous condem-
nation, and multiple nations have
offered help with Malala's treat-
ment. Starting with an airlift offered
by the United Arab Emirates to her
final treatment in the United King-
dom, there's been an overwhelming
outpouring of support worldwide.
The strongest voices of condem-
nation have come from within Paki-
stan itself. From lawyers, to media,
to religious clerics to the citizens
of Pakistan, there has been sharp
criticism of the Taliban's targeting
of Malala. People have taken to the
streets in protest to show their sup-
port. Lawyers took a day off from
court to join in the protests. More
than 50 Islamic scholars from the
Sunni Ittehad Council condemned
the attack. Deseret, a Pakistani
newspaper, ran an editorial on
Tuesday, Oct. 16, calling Malala a
Pakistani hero. In fact, Pakistani

media has so strongly condemned
the attacks as to elicit threats from
the Taliban themselves. Even Paki-
stani President Zardari condemned
the attack.
The outcry hasn'f been limited to
Pakistan. Around the world, news
media, political figures and the pub-
lic have voiced outrage over what
happened to Malala. Beyond the
contentious relationship that India
and Pakistan might share, there
were even protests in India against
such horrific actions by the Taliban.
In a way, this outcry is expected.
You might be wondering why I'm
spending so much space describ-
ing ,something so obvious. Who
wouldn't condemn such a horrific
act? Regardless of what one may
believe politically, ideologically or
religiously, it's easy to agree that tar-
geting a 14-year-old girl is hardly an
acceptable practice. But what's sig-
nificant is exactly that - that across
national borders, religious ideals and
political differences, with theecase
of Malala Yousafzai, we all found
something to agree on.
In fact, if we look deeply, there
are a lot of somethings we agree on.
Most would agree that every child,
boy or girl, should have access to
education, that people should be free
to speak their mind without fear of
being killed, that people should be
able to work, earn a living and pro-
vide for their families. In short, in
some ways, we can agree that there
are basic things that go into a qual-
ity standard of living that everyone
should be able to enjoy. We only dis-
agree on the best way to get there.
And that's what tragedies such as
this show us. They show us that we
might be fiercely different inmany of
our beliefs, but often time we're all
fighting for the same thing: a better
tomorrow than we have today.
There's a lesson in the story of
Malala. A lesson we can apply to
the political situation in the -United
States. There are lots of political and

social issues we argue about today.
And given the partisan political cli-
mate ofthe United States,you'd think
that the Republicans and Democrats
agree on next to nothing.
We're all fighting
for the same
thing: abetter


But in the end, both parties want
the same thing - a better future for
this country. None of the candidates
disagree that we want American
youth to have top quality education,
that we want people to be employed,
that we want safe and structurally
soundroads and infrastructure,that
we want to return to having the best
and most competitive workforce
in the world. We don't disagree on
these end goals; we only disagree on
how to get there.
In ohe midst of an election sea-
son, politicians would rather have
us focus on what we disagree on
than what we see eye-to-eye on. But
the truth is, if we keep focusing on
'what we disagree about, we won't
ever be able to solve the problems
at hand.
It's sad that time and time again it
takes us a tragedy to realize this, but
underneath all the ways in which
we identify as different from one
another, there are basics that we
can agree on. And in this election
season, keeping in mind Malala's
story, perhaps we should look for
the areas we agree on so we can
make valuable compromises.
-Harsha Nahata can be
reached at hnahata@umich.edu.

The first two debates demonstrated how
inconsequential they have become in recent
years. In the first presidential debate, mod-
erator Jim Lehrer failed to foster a struc-
tured debate. Both candidates exceeded time
limits, failed to provide direct answers to
questions and repeatedly spoke over Lehrer.
While Martha Raddatz proved to be a better
moderator, Vice President Joe Biden and Paul
Ryan failed to provide direct and complete
answers to some questions.
Future debates could be improved by hav-
ing fact-checking take place at the event.
In the first presidential debate, President
Obama and Republican presidential nominee
Mitt Romney argued about whether or not
the fiscal claims they'd made along the cam-
paign trail were correct. This process took up
a large portion of the debate and detracted
from policy. If someone was there to verify
the validity of the candidates's claims, mod-
erators could speed up the debate and actu-
ally discuss important issues that pertain
to the campaign. This will force candidates
to know the truth and allow voters to make
informed decisions.

It also may be time to give moderators
more authority in debates. In the vice presi-
dential debate, the candidates were allowed
to stray from the actual questions and move
to their respective talking points, which has
become an important feature of politics. If
the candidates are allowed to simply talk
over the moderator, the debate will have no
structure and trickier issues can be avoided.
After all, the whole point of a debate is to per-
suade the public as best you can with the time
you're alloted. If that element is eliminated,
debates will become media events for the
candidates as opposed to an opportunity to
properly evaluate candidates.
The American public will choose its next
president on Nov. 6. However, it's unlike-
ly that the political debates will provide
people the information they need to make
informed decisions about two very differ-
ent views of America's future. Going for-
ward, if these changes are implemented,
the presidential debates may again become
relevant to the campaign cycle. In the end,
the debates will be a much better resource
for undecided voters.

Keep up with columnists, read Daily editorials, view cartoons and
join in the debate. Check out @michdailyoped to get updates
on Daily opinion content throughout the day.


- Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Eli Cahan, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein, Melanie
Kruvelis,Patrick Maillet, Harsha Nahata, Timothy Rabb,
Adrienne Roberts,Vanessa Rychlinski, Paul Sherman,
Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth; Gus Turner
Fulfillment through respect

A'game-changing' semester

In Jeffrey McMahon's viewpoint, he
responds to Bethany Biron's article on hook-up
culture. The resulting flurry of Facebook activ-
ity made it clear that many women on carpus
are not pleased. They accurately pointed out
that this example of benevolent sexism may
come off as "nice," but it reinforces this idea
that women aren't able to handle themselves
and need men to take care of them.
There are parts of McMahon's viewpoint
that we should learn from. The piece clearly
comes from an authentic place that is worth
noting, regardless of if we agree with him.
First, as he points out, he and many men par-
ticipate in hook-up culture and aren't satis-
fied. He also puts forward that men have a
role to play in improving the gendered nature
of relationships. What he missed, however,
was that the alternative to hook-up culture
doesn't have to be a 1950s white middle-class
fantasy of marriage. So, this is a challenge for
the men on campus (straight and not straight)
who are or aren't satisfied, who want to be
supportive of women and trans people, and
want to be fulfilled in their sexual and/or
romantic relationship to push a little more
critically and imagine new possibilities. Here
are a few starting points:
Whoever you're involved with, treat them
as a person. This applies to all people, but
men often need the reminder. If you're "hook-
ing up," whoever you're hooking up with is
not just an object for your desire. You aren't
entitled to have sex with anyone, and every-
one comes in with their own wishes and a
need for respect of their bodies. It also means
that if you're involved emotionally, it's not
necessarily your responsibility to take care
of them. There's a difference between caring
for someone and taking care of them. Caring
for someone involves respecting their needs,
honoring them as a person and knowing that
they are capable human beings. We all need
care, no matter our gender. Taking care of
someone, means that you're assuming they
need something from you, and often comes
with the expectation that they owe you.
Challenge yourself to find what works
for you, acknowledge what works for other
people and dare to be different. As McMa-

hon points out, the hook-up culture isn't
for everyone. It's for some people when it's
negotiated intentionally. Some people want
to have sex, some people want to have some
sort of emotional involvement, some of our
peers are happily married. Most people have
some combination of those desires and oth-
ers. What matters is that you're able to sift
through all of the peer pressure and expecta-
tions to find what you want. It might change
tomorrow. Your best friend might want some-
thing different. You're going to have to think
about it more than once. And you can't just
figure it out-you have to have the courage to
be different, to feel weird and to voice that dif-
ference. For some of us, this means struggling
with expectations that are part of daunting
systems of racism, sexism and heterosexism.
And then, assuming you want something that
involves other people, you have to go through
the process again to ensure you're both clear
on what the other person wants.
Give up some of your masculine power. As
men, we often don't feel powerful, but it's in
those moments when we don't feel powerful
that we often grasp for control. So when you
feel vulnerable or confused, open up to your
friends, especially if they're also men. And
start listening to women and trans people.
It's easy to write off what others say in order
to defend yourself, but listen and understand
first. To take this even further, acknowledge
that listening requires the work of encour-
aging voices that aren't always heard. We're
bombarded by images of hook-up culture and
unequal power dynamics in relationships.
So take a minute to acknowledge what's not
being expressed with words.
If we want to have sexual-romantic and
sexual-non-romantic relationships that are
fulfilling, it's time to dig deeper than all the
images available to us, whether they seem
"nice" or not, and find ways to relate to each
other without demeaning each other.
Alex Kulick is an LSA senior.
Andrea Alajbegovic, LSA senior; Noel Gordon, LSA
senior; Brock Grosso, Public Policy senior; Blake
Mackie, LSA junior; Amy Navvab, LSA senior; and
Nora Stephens, LSA senior also contributed.

When I decided to do the Semes-
ter In Detroit program last spring,
I was met with laughter by many
of my family and friends. "Oh, so
you're going home for the summer"
and "What do they have to teach
you about Detroit?" were common
responses. In reality, hailing from
the city of Detroit didn't disqualify
me from gaining valuable experi-
ences through SID. And similarly,
never having been to Detroit doesn't
disqualify you. Neither does being
afraid of Detroit. Or knowing a lot
about Detroit. This program is a
game-changer, an experience that
can shape not only the rest of your
academic career, but your life.
It was the internship that first
caught my attention - a chance to
gain valuable work experience from
innovative and prestigious growing
companies and non-profit organiza-
tions. SID's reputation helped me get
an internship at Pewabic Pottery, a
non-profit ceramics organization,
and gave my supervisor the con-

fidence to give me a great amount
of freedom and responsibility in
my work. From hosting television
crews to climbing in fish tanks at
the Belle Isle Aquarium, the expe-
rience I gained from my internship
was priceless and escorted me into
a new way of engaging with my city
through the professional world. For
anyone, the SID internship is a snap-
shot into what working in Detroit,
or any other similar environment,
might be like.
Class, often the greatest burden
in a student's life, was the glue that
brought all the richness of the SID
experiences together. Instead of
detracting from our engagement in
the city, our classes were the place
where we could process our experi-
ences and learn about the city in a
way that would deepen and shape
our interactions going forward.
From the first night sleeping on
the floor of a church during orienta-
tion, to the last night of the program
laying on my apartment floor talking

until sunrise, my SID crew was the
absolute best part of the whole expe-
rience. Each person had a unique
background, interests and relation-
ship to the city and together we had
a diversity 'that provided for the
most interesting group experience
I've been a part of. Despite our dif-
ferences, the SID group had a com-
mitment to supporting one another's
endeavors and learning about their
passions. Not a personal success has
gone by, even now, that hasn't been
celebrated by the group.
Wherever' you're at, SID has
something for you. A place to
learn. To network. To risk. To
grow. If I could do it again, I
would, but since I can't, I'd love to
see you go. Apply by Oct. 26 for the
winter semester, and if you still
need some convincing, there is
an info session at 7 p.m. in Mason
Hall G437 on Thursday, Oct. 18.
Alana Hoey is a junior in the
School of Art and Design.


Everyone deserves an
affordable education
As an out-of-state freshman, I'm
very grateful that my parents could
afford tuition at one of America's
best -and most expensive-public
universities. I chose the University
of Michigan because it impressed me
with its history of academic excel-
lence, liberal attitude and student
In the past few weeks, the buzz-
words on campus clearly are "tuition
equality." Though U.S. law guaran-

tees undocumented students access table distribution of wealth in our
to public education from kindergar- country. Education is the only force
ten to senior year, that access isn't that breaks the cycle of poverty,
extended to earning a college degree. and therefore, college shouldn't
Although their families pay taxes to be a commodity. I support tuition
the state of Michigan and are active equality, because I believe every-
members in Michigan communities, one should have the opportunity to
these students aren't offered in-state earn a college degree. I continue to
tuition rates, and therefore many be impressed with the hard work of
can't afford higher education. Many activists around campus fighting for
of these students volunteer in their tuition equality. I'm proud to attend
communities, work hard in school, a school where passion for change
and most importantly, call Michigan and equal opportunity is so visible
their home. They deserve an afford- on campus.
able college education.
I believe a more affordable col- Micah Nelson
lege education will lead to an equi- LSA freshman


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